Osun Lawyers on strike over fees hike say “masses deprived justice”
February 28, 2017
The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) ,Osun state Branch today Tuesday shut down all activities at the five high court in the state protesting the sudden hike in the filling fees by the Osun State government.
This to the members of the bar is an infringement on the rights of the ordinary Nigerian who should see the Court as the last hope of the masses in any circumstance.
With various placards pasted on the gates of the court premises, the Association instructed all its members not to file any process or appear in court or tribunal to drive home their point.
Calling on the Osun state government to reverse it’s decision, the chairman of the Osogbo branch of the NBA,Ashafa Sanusi said they demand an immediate reversal of the proposed upward review of the filling fees to the status quo ante.
“As far as we are concerned, the instructions was contained in a circular No:CROS/1617 dated 24/02/2017 and signed by Jacob Taiwo on behalf of the chief Registrar of Osun state judiciary .e find this unilateral and arbitrary increment as outrageous, oppressive and not being considerate of the economic reality of the people.of osun state. “He said
“For instance, filling of the affidavit which used to be a 100 naira is now to be one thousand naira, filling of writ of summon, anybody who is aggrieved and goes to court to fill any statement of claim, before you don’t have to spend beyond 4000 naira but now if you want to file a writ of summon now, you will be spending nothing less than forty thousand naira. Apart from this, filling a divorce petition now has become so expensive, it sued to cost say 2000 or 3000 naira, now government has jersey it up to 25000 naira. The hike is about 400 percent, it is very outrageous. Do they want people to resort to self-help since they cannot afford to pay these high fees?”.the chairman asked.
” what is most painful is that this filling of divorce issue is a national issue, it’s not within the jurisdiction of the state and state government is not expected to fix the price for divorce petition. The government did nit even carry us along, it is am embarrassment. We have made up our mind until the government reverses it’s decision, we will not return to court. All the courts in Osun state are affected and this will continue until Government changes it’s mind “he said.
“justice must be accessible by the common man very easily ,we are doing this for the masses as well as the government, if you go to the federal High court, the filling fees there are very friendly .even the government cannot have peace when the people.resort to self-help. So we are appealing to government to think on this and revert to the initial filling fee”he said emphatically.
Gistsnaija tried to speak with The Chief Registrar, Lawrence Arojo. But we were told he was not available to speak to us hut the permanent secretary, ministry of justice, Abimbola Odewemimo said government will react on the development later..